Focusrite Announces Winners of Podcast Studio Makeover Competition

Focusrite, together with other leading brands in content creation, announces the winners of their exclusive competition, which set out to outfit three lucky winners with a complete podcast studio makeover. Intended to remove barriers to creativity for the recipients, each makeover has been valued at over $2,300 in gear and services which includes an hour of podcast coaching from Harry Duran, Host of Podcast Junkies and Founder of FullCast, as well as the opportunity for the winners to be featured in podcast specific projects with Focusrite over the coming months.

The winners include Matthew & Sarah Bivens, hosts of the Doing It at Home podcast; Jarika Johnson, host of the Blackpacking podcast; and Melanie Scroggins, host of the Creator Speak Podcast. The winners have received a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 3rd Gen Audio Interface, their choice of a Heil Sound microphone and boom arm, a set of ADAM Audio SP-5 Studio Headphones, a Namba Gear Lil Namba Remix Backpack, a design session and $500 store credit with Audimute for a custom sound treatment solution, Journalist Pro from Hindenburg, 50% off a SquadCast annual plan and a discount on podcast hosting from Simplecast.

Matthew and Sarah Bivens, based in Atlanta, GA, created the Doing It at Home podcast as a weekly discussion about home birth and their decision to go from a traditional hospital birth with an OBGYN to a natural birth at home with midwives. Their mission is to empower moms and families to make the birth decision that's most aligned with them. Matthew states, “We're so grateful to Focusrite for this opportunity. Winning this contest is a gamechanger in terms of polishing our show and improving our quality to bring listeners a fuller and richer experience. The team has been so amazing to work with. We're honored to be a part of this!” The Bivens’ prize package included a Heil PR 40 microphone for Matthew, a Heil PR 30 for Sarah and two Heil PL2T boom arms and shock mounts, alongside all the other standard prize package fare. Future plans for the duo include sharing more diverse birth stories and growing their community outside of the podcast.

Jarika Johnson, also based in Atlanta, created the Blackpacking podcast to discuss her personal travel stories and have engaging discussions with guests about all things travel. She notes, “The topics we discuss are centered around race, gender, and sexuality and how all of those intersect and influence an individual experience in a new country. We talk about learning the history and culture of different countries and how traveling the world has empowered us to feel that anything is possible.” Johnson’s prize package included a Heil PR 40 mic, alongside all the other gear. As far as future plans, Johnson remarks, “I will be adding a video element to my podcast episodes that will be on my YouTube channel, and I hope to continue growing my following. I see more traveling happening for me in the future, even if that is redefining the idea of what travel normally is. I hope to travel with the show and continue to interview Black travelers in different places of the world.”

Melanie Scroggins, based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, developed The Creator Speak Podcast as a limited series based on conversations with creatives and educators about their experiences in the world and how they use their particular brand of genius. “My guests and I discuss human emotion and concepts related to our everyday experiences including our imagination, adapting to the world around us, and how we interact with time and, in turn, each other,” she notes. Scroggins’ prize package included a Heil PR 30 microphone, along with the other standard gear. She adds, “I am stunned and extremely humbled to be one of the winners of this competition, especially to be alongside such talented people. Focusrite has been so welcoming and just as excited as I've been during this whole thing, which makes the experience that much more fun! I've really enjoyed connecting with them and getting to use their amazing gear as well.” Future plans for Scroggins include producing more episodes to add to the individual series, as well as continued voice acting work.

Focusrite Marketing Manager Dan Hughley remarks, “I’m a podcaster myself, helming the Focusrite Pro Podcast since its inception, and I really have a passion for this media format and feel a strong kinship with other podcasters. We had hundreds of amazing submissions, and I took a strong personal stake in carefully reviewing each entry and helping choose the ones that were right for the selection of winners. Unfortunately, every deserving submission couldn’t end up on the list of recipients, but the three lucky selectees are all amazing podcasters that we are proud to elevate. We can’t wait to see what comes next for all these talented individuals.”